Banks announce measures to help those affected by Coronavirus
Numerous banks across the country have revealed plans to offer support for both customers and businesses affected by Coronavirus.
Also known as COVID-19, the virus has been spreading throughout the globe in recent months, sparking many companies to take action.
One of the biggest revelations comes from NatWest, who announced that it will allow their mortgage customers affected by the virus and suffering from financial difficulty to defer their payments for up to three months.
This will be managed on a case-by-case basis, and the bank will offer a variety of options suited to different situations.
NatWest also announced that it will put up £5bn to support smaller business during this time alongside payments breaks and temporary emergency loans with no fees.
Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest, commented: “The ongoing uncertainty that the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses are experiencing is unprecedented even by recent standards.
“While many of our customers are yet to feel the direct impacts of Coronavirus, I want NatWest to have the right support in place, so we are there to help our SME customers when they need us most.
“This is a priority for NatWest and we will remain proactive, continuing to listen to our customers – we are here to support and can help businesses manage any short term disruption. SMEs should not feel like they have to go through these uncertain times alone, we are here to help.”
RBS also followed suit by additionally offering to waive early closure charges on all fixed savings accounts and refund any cash advance fees incurred as a result.
Customers will likewise be given the option to ask for an increased cash withdrawal limit on their debit cards for up to £500 or close fixed savings accounts early with no charge.Get debt advice today
Santander is also looking at customer’s individual cases, offering them support based on their personal circumstances, which includes potentially deferring or reducing repayments due in the near future.
Speaking of the situation Susan Allen, CEO Retail and Business Banking, Santander UK, said: “In such uncertain times we want to reassure our customers that we’re here to help those who are worried about their finances.
“We want to give our customers all they need from practical tips on managing their money if they’re stuck at home, to financial support for those struggling with increased financial pressures as a result of Coronavirus.”
Barclays also announced in a statement that it will be “removing penalty charges to accessing fixed savings accounts early for those facing hardship” and offering support to smaller businesses similar to Natwest.
Ian Rand, CEO of Business Banking said: “Barclays is ready to help, whether that’s with managing cash flow or any other support, and we encourage any customer who needs guidance to call us or contact their relationship manager.”
Trade association UK Finances, also spoke out on the matter, with Chief Executive Stephen Jones stating: “Banks, building societies and credit card providers understand that some of their customers may be worried about the effect that contracting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) could have on their finances, for example, due to a drop in income or because of unexpected expenses or bills to pay.
“All providers are ready and able to offer support to their customers who are impacted directly or indirectly by COVID-19, which could include offering or increasing an overdraft or allowing repayment relief for loan or mortgage repayments: asking for help early is key.
“We would encourage customers who think they may be affected to contact their provider as soon as possible to discuss the support available to them.”